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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Menstrual health and school absenteeism among adolescent girls in Uganda (MENISCUS): A feasibility study

    Management of menstruation can present substantial challenges to girls in low-income settings. In preparation for a menstrual hygiene intervention to reduce school absenteeism in Uganda, this study aimed to investigate menstruation management practices, barriers and facilitators, and the influence of menstruation on school absenteeism among secondary school students in a peri-urban district of Uganda. …

  2. Leave no girl behind in Africa: discrimination in education against pregnant girls and adolescent mothers

    This report provides information on the status of laws, policies, and practices that block or support pregnant or married girls’ access to education. It also provides recommendations for much-needed reforms.

  3. Menstrual hygiene management among Bangladeshi adolescent schoolgirls and risk factors affecting school absence: results from a cross-sectional survey

    Background: Many adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries lack appropriate facilities and support in school to manage menstruation. Little research has been conducted on how menstruation affects school absence. This study examines the association of menstrual hygiene management knowledge, facilities and practice with absence from school during menstruation among Bangladeshi schoolgirls. Methods: We conducted a nationally representative, cross-sectional study in Bangladeshi schools from March to June 2013 among girls 11 to 17 years old who reached menarche. …

  4. Assessment report of health literacy and behavior change practices among adolescent girls in Kibera

    This report presents the findings of a rapid assessment of ‘Health Literacy and Behavior Change Practiced among Adolescent Girls in Kibera’ Informal Settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.

  5. Kenya: helping adolescent mothers remain in school through strengthened implementation of school re-entry policies

    The goal of this case study is to document an activity of the STEP UP research programme consortium which resulted in successful evidence utilization. This is to both demonstrate the positive impact STEP UP is having on family planning and reproductive health policies, as well as to document the process by which this was achieved so as to inform future research of successful strategies and lessons learned. …

  6. Shamed and blamed: pregnant girls’ rights at risk in Sierra Leone

    The report makes a number of recommendations for action by the government to guarantee girls’ right to health, including access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and in particular post rape services. It also calls for further action to eradicate violence against girls, to protect girls at risk, and enforce laws against perpetrators of sexual violence.

  7. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  8. Adolescent pregnancy and education trajectories in Malawi

    Education is a vital component of the preparation for adulthood, and is closely linked to transitions into marriage and parenting. Childbearing among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa remains high, while primary school completion is far from universal. This paper uses longitudinal data from five rounds of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study to investigate how becoming pregnant while attending school influences medium-term educational outcomes of young women. …

  9. Forced out: mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools

    This publication documents the forced pregnancy testing and expulsion of pregnant school girls in mainland Tanzania. Launched in 2013 and based on in-depth interviews with young women who have undergone these practices, as well as teachers, government officials, and health care providers, this report provides concrete evidence and compelling stories of the numerous human rights violations many Tanzanian girls face in the pursuit of education. In addition, the report provides key recommendations to the Tanzanian Government, regional human rights bodies, and the international donor community. …

  10. Perceptions of policy duty bearers on the inclusive education policy for pregnant teenagers in South Africa

    Post-apartheid, South Africa democratised access to education as enshrined in the country’s Constitutional Bill of Rights of 1996. This also includes making education accessible to pregnant teenagers as provided for by other post-apartheid legal provisions that prohibit discrimination in education. This study explored the perceptions of education policy duty bearers on the inclusion of pregnant learners in formal schools. …

  11. Unintended pregnancy and termination of studies among students in Anambra state, Nigeria: are secondary schools playing their part?

    This study evaluated efforts of secondary schools to prevent unintended pregnancy among students and their reactions to pregnant students before and after delivery. A cross-sectional survey of 46 teachers in three public and two private schools in Anambra state, Nigeria was carried out. Information was collected using self-administered questionnaire. Of all the teachers in the study, 87% reported unintended pregnancies among students in the previous 3 years. Expulsion (43%) and suspension (28%) were the most common reactions. …

  12. Exploring experiences of pregnant and mothering secondary school students in Tanzania

    The Constitution of Tanzania grants every child the right to education, yet a girl’s access to education is denied when she becomes pregnant or gives birth. This study explored the experiences of pregnant and mothering students in secondary schools and the community awareness, attitudes and perceptions toward pregnancy policy in Tanzania. It sought insights into parenting students’ challenges, coping strategies, and their suggestions on how to help teen mothers who are returning to school. …

  13. Because I am a girl: The state of the world's girls 2014. Pathways to power: Creating sustainable change for adolescent girls

    This is the eighth in the annual ‘Because I am a Girl’ report series, published by Plan, which assesses the current state of the world’s girls. While women and children are recognised in policy and planning, girls’ needs and rights are often ignored. The reports provide evidence, including the voices of girls themselves, as to why they need to be treated differently from boys and adult women. They also use information from primary research, in particular a small study set up in 2006 following 142 girls from nine countries. …

  14. The cost and cost-effectiveness of gender-responsive interventions for HIV: a systematic review

    Introduction: Harmful gender norms and inequalities, including gender-based violence, are important structural barriers to effective HIV programming. We assess current evidence on what forms of gender-responsive intervention may enhance the effectiveness of basic HIV programmes and be cost-effective. Methods: Effective intervention models were identified from an existing evidence review (“what works for women”). Based on this, we conducted a systematic review of published and grey literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of each intervention identified. …

  15. Teen mothers and schooling: lacunae and challenges

    While many girls who become mothers before completing schooling consider academic qualifications to be very important, they may not be able to succeed academically if the support they need to complete their studies is insufficient. Usually, instead of getting support, the teen mothers endure misunderstandings and pressure. The teen mothers may feel disempowered because they are ‘othered’ and consequently, they develop forms of resistance which in most cases may foster their failure as learners. …

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